Last year, I contacted Derek Sivers for his opinion on attending grad school (which he called “timid procrastination”). While I was vacillating, I agreed with his thinking. Later, I flipped my decision, in part, due to the exercise of creating a Now page, prompted by one of Derek’s posts.
I realized procrastinating was precisely what I was doing, and I needed greater focus. I also needed to complete a vision for myself.
I rarely sign up for email lists because I get far too much email as it is, but I signed up for Derek’s. There is no sales pitch in his writing. He puts his thoughts out, and it’s up to me how I night apply it to my own life.
In one email he announced a site he launched called Now Now Now, where each user can add a link to a page on their own site that tells what they are doing now. It’s not about what you did before. It’s not about making a sale. It’s about now, about being literal in your present day, and keeping focus. It’s quite like a self-referential touch point, because unlike common web pages, a Now page evolves with you and constantly reminds you what you want to be doing, which is really helpful if you are a creative entrepreneur, or even just really busy.
Creative people manifest new ideas with such frequency, they often have difficulty maintaining focus long enough to see an idea truly flourish.
If I allow myself to be pulled in ten directions, there is not enough of me to focus on succeeding in any one of those initiatives.
A Now page shares your focus with the world. It’s like having a list on your wall that tells you if what you are currently doing is helping your reach your goals.
My favorite Jack Handy quote is:
“I like to carry around two sacks, one in each hand. That way, if someone asks, “Can you give me a hand?” I can reply, no, sorry, got these sacks.” (I like because it’s funny, not because it’s how I think.)
It’s not that I won’t lend a hand when I can. In fact, I enjoy helping out. Occasionally, the initiatives for which people ask me to come on board are incompatible with I’m doing. Now, I can point them to my Now page.
With a Now page, you can state a goal, and when you reach it, replace it with a new one. It’s basically a public affirmation, a way to keep yourself current, and share what you’re into Now.